Author Topic: tiq probe - did not fund on Kickstarter - but will be going into production!  (Read 47347 times)

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Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #75 on: April 28, 2014, 08:43:46 pm »
Here are my thoughts FWIW:

  • Defiantly have the facility to update the firmware via USB.
  • I don't care about the OSHW thing - I've backed it because I want to use the tool not hack it.
  • Make the reference level for your fast comparator variable (0-near 5v) - you probably do this already.
  • Get the basic features you've outlined working, avoid feature creep, ship ON TIME - do software updates later.
  • I don't care about the generator functions.
  • Make a plastic shroud for the probe - I'll be forever shorting that probe across pins. It won't cost much to mold.
  • Make the probe tip SHARP!
  • Understand the impedance/capacitance of your probe...

Cheers & good luck with the next 34 days.
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #76 on: April 28, 2014, 09:55:58 pm »
@fcb:
Quote
Get the basic features you've outlined working, avoid feature creep, ship ON TIME - do software updates later.

Thanks again for your support - and for highlighting that tiq's existing functionality is genuinely useful, the sooner we all have one, the sooner our productivity goes up and our frustration down :) That's what tiq has done for me. And, yes, there will be improvements, upgrades and new features down the road!

Quote
Make a plastic shroud for the probe ... Make the probe tip SHARP!

A lot of work is going into the probe tip right now - trying to come up with something standard, changeable, with options, and even option to make or adapt your own if the standard ones don't suit a particular application. Any ideas here??!

@tom66:
Quote
Will the relay probe pulse output be on this version?

The KS version will not have a relay to route the signal generator to the test tip, the generator will be on a separate, dedicated output pin.

@tom66, mikeselectricstuff:
Quote
1.8V logic level support

1.8V support is straightforward in principle, and yes, existing hardware supports some of this. I want to be sure the entire product integrates this properly before it's offered (there's the sig gen output to also consider, menus and config - none of it hard, but with a production "features freeze" coming there is a possibility the KS tiq probe remains specifically for 5V/3.3V systems).

@electronic_eel:
Quote
I won't make a pledge for this probe

You pays your money, you takes your choice! Understand this product is not for you, I hope you find one that is (or better yet, make one!) !

Thanks again to all for the valuable inputs!

Mark
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #77 on: April 28, 2014, 10:14:11 pm »
Probe idea:

Kinda like this...



THose aren't exactly what I have in mind, but I can't find the right ones. They are similar enough, though, in that they are thin and protected with sharp ends. The ones I am thinking of are also semi-flexible,  but that part probably isn't important for this.

Maybe if you could arrange for the meter end to be a tapped hole, and the probes to have a threaded stub, then to replace them we just need to find (or make) something with a screw on the end. M3 or M5, probably.

Alternatively, make the meter end a 2mm banana plug and give the probe a suitable hole. Then replacing it could involve a short test lead (defeats the point of being handheld, but...) or whatever. I think that might not be feasible if the probe isn't to be a huge thing, though.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #78 on: April 28, 2014, 10:15:36 pm »
A lot of work is going into the probe tip right now - trying to come up with something standard, changeable, with options, and even option to make or adapt your own if the standard ones don't suit a particular application. Any ideas here??!
How about ending the probe with a male 4mm banana plug? There are tons of good tips available to fit on 4mm banana plugs. Only downside is that it makes the probe longer.

(or better yet, make one!) !
Seriously consindering that. But will not rush a design.


 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #79 on: April 28, 2014, 10:16:33 pm »

  • Defiantly have the facility to update the firmware via USB.

Absolutely - it would be a dead duck without the ability to update.
If not USB, then by sticking the probe on a serial port.
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Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #80 on: April 28, 2014, 10:52:29 pm »
@fcb:
Quote
Get the basic features you've outlined working, avoid feature creep, ship ON TIME - do software updates later.

Thanks again for your support - and for highlighting that tiq's existing functionality is genuinely useful, the sooner we all have one, the sooner our productivity goes up and our frustration down :) That's what tiq has done for me. And, yes, there will be improvements, upgrades and new features down the road!

Quote
Make a plastic shroud for the probe ... Make the probe tip SHARP!

A lot of work is going into the probe tip right now - trying to come up with something standard, changeable, with options, and even option to make or adapt your own if the standard ones don't suit a particular application. Any ideas here??!

You'll have to prototype a couple of different designs for the probe tip holders, but here's what I think the criteria is for the tip.
1. Interchangable, long and short versions.
2. Must survive being dropped off the bench.
3. No tools.
4. Avoid threads as the often get cross-threaded.
5. Not wobbly - so when using force trying to get a good contact it doens't wander.

I would have a piece of brass turned with a precision 4mm blind hole in it.  This would be designed to mount securly in the case and then use a spring on the circuit board to make contact with end of the brass socket. Probably plate the brass.

I'd then design the probes to have a banana split end, then a 4mm precision journal and a bigger stop flange (the split makes the electrical contact and holds the probe in, the journal stops wobble and the flange gives a solid stop).  Don't under-engineer the probe mount!  You could discuss this approach with a local engineering company that has "sliding head" CNC lathes.
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #81 on: April 29, 2014, 12:30:17 am »
@dunkemhigh, electrconic_eel, fcb:

Do those probes have a 4mm banana on the non-tip end?

4mm banana is a pretty ubiquitous interface... But it also makes the probe loooonger...

Would prefer to avoid custom part(s), but something based around a standard interface would be good/better....?

Mark
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #82 on: April 29, 2014, 12:51:01 am »
Quote
Do those probes have a 4mm banana on the non-tip end?

Ha, yes, I believe they do. I found them here:

Ebay link

Maybe Franky can get you thousands of them :)
 

Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #83 on: April 29, 2014, 01:50:40 pm »
I was just programming some products on a jig here in the factory and another idea hit me.

Use something like a pogo pin with a small blob of solder to jam the spring action.  These are available with a variety of tip styles and they are fairly low cost. Very easy to replace and they are sharp.

My suggestion would be something like the coda systems (http://www.coda-systems.co.uk/) 1/8" range.  Probably the PA7BS or LPA7BS for the probe and build the receptacle RA7S inside the product.

 

Offline iloveelectronics

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #84 on: April 29, 2014, 02:08:04 pm »
Quote from: dunkemhigh

Maybe Franky can get you thousands of them :)
[/quote

Thanks for the plug (no pun intended) :) Yes, I do carry a lot of different probes that accept 4mm banana plugs in my store.
My email address: franky @ 99centHobbies . com
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Offline Christopher

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #85 on: April 29, 2014, 08:31:09 pm »
How can I measure voltage using one probe?! With a ground loop through the USB?

(Tongue in cheek alert..)
 

Offline lewis

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #86 on: April 29, 2014, 09:33:30 pm »
Some 4mm probe tips here:

http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/SKS-Hirschmann-MZS-2-Transition-Plugs-6A-520000
http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/Test-Probe-to-4mm-Straight-Socket-400363

Love the idea of the Tiq, but it MUST be battery powered. Otherwise there's no point in it for me. If it has to be tied to a bench with a power supply, I might as well use an oscilloscope. Portability will add enormous value for automotive techs, in-field repair engineers, etc.
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #87 on: April 29, 2014, 10:00:14 pm »
Some 4mm probe tips here:

http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/SKS-Hirschmann-MZS-2-Transition-Plugs-6A-520000
http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/Test-Probe-to-4mm-Straight-Socket-400363

Love the idea of the Tiq, but it MUST be battery powered. Otherwise there's no point in it for me. If it has to be tied to a bench with a power supply, I might as well use an oscilloscope. Portability will add enormous value for automotive techs, in-field repair engineers, etc.
Ditto - it's not like this thing will draw much power, and it's the sort of thing you'd want to use where you don't want to set up a scope. Not having battery power is a major drawback. 
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #88 on: April 29, 2014, 10:27:10 pm »
Quote
but it MUST be battery powered

Don't forget you still need to ground it, so you're basically saying you're OK with 1 wire and not with 2. I accept that attaching the ground can be simpler than attaching power (if, say, it was croc clips), but OTOH not attaching anything at all (because you're grounded via USB) has to even simpler still :)

Sure, I would also like battery power - just dab and read. Magic! Then I remember about ground...
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #89 on: April 29, 2014, 10:46:16 pm »
@dunkemhigh, fcb, iloveelectronics, lewis:

Thanks for inputs and ideas on the probe tip. The 4mm banana plug has many options, and ways to make it pretty robust - although it's the b-word (bulky!). I've got several packages inbound to try out some ideas, I'll keep ya updated...!

@fcb - yes, those pogos are interesting, spent a few hours looking at those. Hmmm. Need a few "workarounds" to really use them in this application, but might be worthwhile? More experiments...

Good points!

Mark
 

Offline lewis

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #90 on: April 29, 2014, 10:51:15 pm »
Don't forget you still need to ground it, so you're basically saying you're OK with 1 wire and not with 2. I accept that attaching the ground can be simpler than attaching power (if, say, it was croc clips), but OTOH not attaching anything at all (because you're grounded via USB) has to even simpler still :)
Sure, I would also like battery power - just dab and read. Magic! Then I remember about ground...


Grounding to a circuit is not a problem. It's just the same as probing! Chances are there'll be a ground somewhere near where the probe tip needs to go. But connecting a relatively heavy USB cable to a power supply/wall wart on the other side of the bench, or in the field where there might not be any power available, is troublesome. The Tiq ethos appears to be 'quick and easy' measurements, but with these constraints a scope would often be quicker.

Grounding via USB is a real no-no, you can get all sorts of common-mode noise and earth loop nasties which might screw up the Tiq's measurements depending on what you're probing. It'll be even more important to ground properly on the Tiq than on a scope, because on a scope it's often obvious when something's probed wrongly.

Battery power will also allow the Tiq to measure differential or non-ground referenced signals (DMX, RS422/485 and CAN bus spring to mind). This would also be a bonus in the lab for those without a differential scope probe. Powering from USB negates this huge potential usefulness.
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Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #91 on: April 29, 2014, 11:02:08 pm »
@lewis, mikeselectricstuff, dunkemhigh:

I use tiq away from the bench often, and all it takes to be portable and battery powered is something like this:

http://amzn.to/1fNTZfy

I even use it on the bench! This is a floating power supply, too (more in the next post).

Understand that some people want the battery built in, but the significant majority want the probe small and light - prototype tiqs weigh 40g (1.4oz), adding a battery would add >25g and some volume - not a good trade for most.

Keep it light -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #92 on: April 29, 2014, 11:12:30 pm »
@lewis:

You're completely right - and there are already solutions available!

 :-+ See above for an immediate, inexpensive, ubiquitous battery approach (I realize it still has a cable to the tiq).

 :-+ USB battery (OR a floating USB charger) allows those non-ground referenced and differential measurements you want!

 :-+ You don't HAVE to ground via USB - it will work most of the time - but if you don't want to do that, use a floating supply, and tiq has 2 dedicated ground pins - one immediately adjacent to the probe tip (for that high freq stuff) and one in the same header as the pulse generator output. Picture attached.

Keep on tiqing!

Mark
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 08:09:14 am by markhen »
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #93 on: April 29, 2014, 11:27:47 pm »
@lewis, mikeselectricstuff:
Quote
The tiq ethos appears to be 'quick and easy' measurements, but with [...a USB cable...] a scope would often be quicker.

Yes! That is the tiq ethos! I love 'scopes, really love 'em, and for detailed work they win every time, every time.

I made tiq because I wanted a QUICKER way to get info when I probe around embedded circuits - where every pin can have a radically different signal on it. Constantly looking away to change timebase, vertical and trigger on the scope really adds up over a day! tiq accomplishes this. Sure, it's got a power cable, but the BENEFITS far outweigh that constraint!

I would like others to have the benefit I've got from tiq, it's the sort of thing that you try and you'll see benefits immediately. It's not perfect, it's not the only tool you'll need, but it is really, really useful! And who doesn't want that?!

Take it easy -

Mark
 

Offline Kean

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #94 on: April 30, 2014, 02:15:39 pm »
I like the concept, but like others I also have reservations regarding the USB power connector (reliability and stiffness of cable), although having it for software updates makes a lot of sense.  For projects like this that I make myself, I'd generally use header pins and silicone wires to supply power.  I haven't found a source of figure 8 silicone red/black wire yet, which would be ideal.

One thing in particular I noticed - the bargraphs seem to me to be backwards... is there some reasoning for that?

Oh, and nice to see the HP Logic Dart featured in a couple of your pictures.  I have one, and it is usually my tool of choice for initial troubleshooting.  If I didn't have the Logic Dart, I'd very likely back your project.
 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #95 on: April 30, 2014, 06:54:22 pm »
Only 50 special first-run edition left-handers?  Well count me lucky I'm left handed ;)   BACKED.  And thanks for the early posting of the KS!
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #96 on: April 30, 2014, 06:54:56 pm »
@Kean:
Quote
figure 8 silicone red/black wire yet, ... would be ideal

Agree! Would be great to find this. I'm working on power/connector options that EVERYONE is going to love (is that possible?!?!)!!! And (I will post the results here first - thank you EEVbloggers!).

Quote
the bargraphs seem to me to be backwards... is there some reasoning for that

 :) Yes, there is a reason - when you're holding the probe it's usually "ass end high" so it made more sense to me to have the "high" part of the bar graph at the "high" end of the probe!? Yes? No?!

Quote
HP Logic Dart

Yup, I'm a lucky owner of an immaculate Dart (don't get me started about collecting HP LED calculators...). Honestly, it's not easy to use, but it is beautifully made.

Now, let's talk about a planned future tiq with glowing red LED display, THAT'S what I want  :-+

Keep it glowing -

Mark
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 07:02:23 pm by markhen »
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #97 on: April 30, 2014, 07:01:29 pm »
@idpromnut:
Quote
Only 50 special first-run edition left-handers?  Well count me lucky I'm left handed ;)   BACKED

Thank you! I know, apparently some people use their RIGHT hand for important stuff?! I was going to only make the left handed versions, imagine how that would have gone over....  :-DD

Note the world population is approx 10% LH, but the early backer LH option is 20% - because I was pretty sure there were a lot of lefties around these parts  ;)  And sure enough, so far something like >15% of backers want something in their left hand!

Thanks again for the support!

Mark
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #98 on: April 30, 2014, 08:17:13 pm »
Quote
want something in their left hand!

I'm a righter, but I think I might prefer a lefty tiq: if this were a scope probe I would be knob twiddling with my right hand. When debugging software, it's my right hand that gets the debugger running or stopping, flicks the PSU on or off, etc. If tiq is as good as you say, there would be nothing to do with the left hand because tiq automatically selects the right display.

mmmm... can't afford one of each to find out...
 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #99 on: April 30, 2014, 08:19:57 pm »
I didn't see it explicitly stated anywhere, but i am guessing that since to get a "floating" tiq you use a battery supply, that the tiq is not isolated from the USB ground?
 


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